Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Weed Painting Challenge

“A weed is but an unloved flower.” ― Ella Wheeler Wilcox

It's time for the next GurneyJourney painting challenge. Let's paint some weeds.

Ivan Shishkin, Aegopodium, Pargolovo (study) 1884, 35x59 cm
Fidelia Bridges, Thistle and Landscape
How does the challenge work?
We've done this before with gas stations, graveyards, and outdoor markets (Links take you to results). 

This time we'll paint some weeds on location. Everyone can upload their examples to this special Facebook event page. I'll choose a Grand Prize winner and five Finalists. Each receive a coveted "Department of Art" embroidered patch, and the Grand Prize winner will also receive a free tutorial download.

I hesitate to call it a "contest" because there's no entry fee and the spirit is more about cooperation, community, and camaraderie than competition. We're all at different levels of skill and experience, but we're all out there braving the elements and trying out new painting ideas.

Ivan Shishkin Grasses
How do you define a weed?
• By "weed" I mean any naturally growing herbaceous plant. For example: wildflowers, cattails, vines, lily pads, grasses, dandelions, ferns, mushrooms—really any natural plants. 

• That excludes anything planted, cultivated, or tended by humans, such as nursery or garden flowers or food crops.

• Nothing too big: no woody plants and no trees. 

Ivan Shishkin A Woman Under an Umbrella
• Must be painted outdoors with the weeds in situThe weeds can't be cut and brought indoors or painted from photos. 

• The scene can include a landscape background, but the emphasis should be on the foreground with the plant carefully observed, with some botanical detail. 

• You can put a piece of white or black board behind a weed if you want to isolate it against a simple flat background. But I'm not looking for botanical studies so much as weeds in natural (or man-made) settings.

• OK to include some trash, insects, signs or other things you find around the weeds.

William Scott The Butterflies' Haunt--
Dandelion Clocks and Thistles
What media are OK?
• All painting media accepted, such as oil, watercolor, acrylic, gouache, acryla-gouache, alkyd, casein, or water-soluble colored pencils. 

• No limits on palette of colors.

• You can enter as soon as you finish the piece, but no later than the deadline: Friday, June 24, 2016 at midnight New York time. Winners will be announced on Sunday, June 26.

William Henry Hunt Birds Nest and Primroses
Fidelia Bridges
Thistle in a Field
Submission Guidelines
• Free to enter

• It must be a new painting done for this challenge. In addition to a scan of the final painting, your entry must include a photo (or video) of your painting in progress in front of the motif. 

• Please include somewhere in the title or description the name of the weed, either a common name or Latin name.

• Upload the images to this Facebook Event Page. If you don't have a Facebook account, please ask a friend with an account to help you. Please include in the FB post a mention of what medium you used, and if you want, a word about your inspiration or design strategy, or an anecdote about your painting experience.

• In addition to the Facebook event page, you can use the hashtag #weedpaintingchallenge on Instagram or Twitter to see what other people are doing. 

• If you end up doing more than one entry, please delete your weaker entry so that we end up with just one entry per person.

Aaron Draper Shattuck Leaf Study with Swallowtail
I'll pick one Grand Prize and five Finalists. All six entries will be published on GurneyJourney, and all six will receive an exclusive "Department of Art" embroidered patch. In addition, the Grand Prize winner receives a video (DVD or download) of their choice. Everybody who participates will have their work on the Facebook page, too.

EDIT: Winners of the Weed Painting Challenge
Check out the previous results for gas stationsgraveyards, and outdoor markets.
Own the 72-minute feature "Gouache in the Wild"
• HD MP4 Download at Gumroad $14.95
• or HD MP4 Download at Sellfy (for Paypal customers) $14.95
• DVD at Purchase at Kunaki.com (NTSC video) $24.50
GurneyJourney YouTube channel
My Public Facebook page
GurneyJourney on Pinterest
JamesGurney Art on Instagram
@GurneyJourney on Twitter


Fabio Porta said...

Challenging, I'm in :)

Scale said...

I find weeds to be the most difficult outdoor subject to tackle, it's so difficult to sort out all the visual information when looking at them! I find the Shishikin samples here especially impressive as they show both great detail and great grouping and organization of values.

I often wonder whether it is even possible to paint even remotely realistic weed from the mind. Trees, rocks, terrain and many other landscape elements can look fairly natural even if they are given made up shapes, but weeds seem to be a whole different problem. What would you suggest to do in order to develop a "visual library" for painting weeds and bush-like plants from the mind (besides obviously drawing and painting from life a lot)? Are there specific books or methods to start from?

Maywyn Studio said...

Fantastic challenge!
I look forward to finding a nice weed location to paint.
Thinking Bug Spray! lol

Bobby La said...

I am so in. I love weeds. Bit of a misnomer really since a weed is just an unloved plant that is out of place. That can be applied to a helluva lot of plants according to your region, taste and environmental sensitivities. I think I can sometimes pretty much fit that definition too. I often hear people rant about a plant that has happily found a spot either in my garden or on our plate. Think I'll do a dandelion.

carol edan said...

Got lot's of weeds..LOL Now to go out and try to paint and then get courage enough to share.

Jack Sparrow said...

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yvonne said...

Love the week idea. Would some pen and ink along with a painting medium disqualify a piece?

James Gurney said...

Yvonne, Pen and ink with paint / watercolor would be fine.